The book’s author further demanded that any American soldier who “desecrates” the Quran be ejected from the foreign country of deployment, relieved of duty and turned over to a military judge for “punishment.”
“Desecration” of the Quran, according to the McMaster-endorsed book, includes such acts as “letting the Quran fall to the ground during a search, or more blatant instances.”
The book, reviewed in full by this reporter, was authored by U.S. military officer Youssef H. Aboul-Enein and is titled Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat.
McMaster provided a glowing blurb for the book jacket, referring to Aboul-Enein’s book as “an excellent starting point” for understanding terrorist ideology.
McMaster also promoted the book in ARMOR, the journal of the U.S. Army’s Armor Branch, published at Fort Benning, Georgia, where McMaster served as commanding general at the Ft. Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence.
McMaster wrote in his blurb for the book: “Militant Islamist Ideology deserves a wide readership among all those concerned with the problem of transnational terrorism, their ideology, and our efforts to combat those organizations that pose a serious threat to current and future generations of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”
In the blurb, McMaster revealed his own views on terrorism, claiming that “terrorist organizations use a narrow and irreligious ideology to recruit undereducated and disenfranchised people to their cause.”
Aboul-Enein is listed as a senior adviser and analyst at the Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism at the Defense Intelligence Agency, a position that he also held under the Obama administration. He is an officer in the Navy Medical Service Corps and Middle East Foreign Officer, and an adjunct military professor and chair of Islamic studies at the National Defense University.
Besides endorsing Militant Islamist Ideology, McMaster also wrote a forward for another Aboul-Enein book, this one titled Iraq in Turmoil: Historical Perspectives of Dr. Ali al-Wardi, From the Ottoman Empire to King Feisal.
In the book, Aboul-Enein warned that “incidents of desecrating the Quran, such as letting the Quran fall to the ground during a search, or more blatant instances, allow our adversary to capitalize on outrage and to score points in the arena of public opinion.”
Any such “desecration” of the Quran, the author wrote, “would be considered an offense not only by Militant Islamists but by Islamists and wider Muslim community as well.”
Aboul-Enein recommended that “desecrations” of the Quran should be “quickly acknowledged, with unconditional apologies and reassurances to the public that the accused do not represent the United States or its military, that they have been ejected from the country and referred to their service’s judge advocate general for punishment.”
Besides ejecting the service member from the country of deployment and turning the soldier over to a judge for “punishment,” Aboul-Enein pointed to a May 2008 incident in which a U.S. Army sniper reportedly used the Quran for target practice. He upheld the response by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, as forming, in Aboul-Enein’s opinion, the minimal official U.S. military reaction to such desecrations.
The response included an “apology ceremony” at which a U.S. official kissed a copy of the Quran before presenting the text to the local community as a “humble gift.”
Reviews of the book are not favorable.